Welcome to the Neighborhood (TV series)
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|Welcome to the Neighborhood|
|Written by||Amber Mazzola|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Location(s)||Texas, United States|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||The Jay & Tony Show|
|Original release||Never aired|
Welcome to the Neighborhood is an American reality television series produced in 2005 by ABC along with The Jay & Tony Show, MGM Television and New Screen Concepts that was notable for the amount of controversy it garnered before it was aired. It subsequently became one of the few American TV series to be cancelled before airing a single episode.
The show was a contest to win a lush dream home in an exclusive cul-de-sac in Circle C Ranch in Austin, Texas. The catch is that the local families decide who will win, and while they are all conservative, white, upper-class Christians, all the contestants are not.
- The Crenshaws - A religious African-American family
- The Eckhardts - A Caucasian/Native American Pagan family
- The Gonzalezes - A Hispanic family
- The Lees - A Korean family
- The Morgans - A Caucasian family with a stripper mother
- The Sheets - A Caucasian family with heavily tattooed Republican parents
- The Wrights - A family consisting of a gay Caucasian couple and their adopted African-American son
The first two episodes were screened before a group of critics, who lambasted it for the prejudice the judges displayed. One judge openly claimed that he "would not tolerate a homosexual".
The still-unaired show came under fire from the Family Research Council for concerns that "conservatives could come off looking biased", and from the National Fair Housing Alliance for concerns that the show violated anti-discrimination housing laws, which the show's producers denied. GLAAD, with reservations, approved the show's final message.
Possibly the result of its poor reception, ABC pulled the show from its scheduled July 10, 2005 debut. Although the now-defuct Fox Reality Channel eventually asked for the rights to air it, ABC president Steve McPherson denied the request, claiming moral issues with the very content of the show.
The show's producers continue to claim that the show becomes much more light-hearted towards the end of its six episodes when they show "some eyes and hearts opening up, opinions changing, and a community transforming". The producers' purported goal was to discover whether a diverse family could be accepted into a white, conservative, upper-class, Christian neighborhood. The judges did eventually award the house to the gay couple (The Wrights) and they moved into the house. One of the neighbors on the adjoining block put his house up for sale, directly citing the homosexuals and the negative attention the show garnered for the Circle C Ranch neighborhood as the reasons why.
German TV station RTL2 reused the series' idea in 2007 with a setting in Berlin, using the title "Willkommen in der Nachbarschaft" (a literal translation).